Boozy Rum Balls are a no bake treat that is perfect adult treat or a homemade gift! These are a holiday season classic, perfect for cookie exchanges and a great make-ahead recipe (the flavor keeps getting better).
Holiday foods always bring on the cheers and Pecan Rum Balls do just that! These homemade treats are right at home with the boozy Eggnog, Wassail and Glogg perfect for holiday parties.
Melted chocolate, vanilla wafer and graham cracker crumbs, sweetened and rolled into balls coated with diced pecans!
These classic no-bake treats are easy to make. Their flavor continues to develop so they are perfect to make ahead for a special occasion or for gifts.
They taste like eating a sweet cocktail. The rum is distinct, and that’s their charm. They can be made regular or gluten-free depending on the cookie crumbs used.
You will have tried traditional Rum Balls somewhere before. They have been on the mixed Christmas cookie tray at company parties. And your Grandmother probably made them too.
They are a classic that never goes out of style.
Our chocolate rum balls use both crushed vanilla wafers and graham cracker crumbs which give them fantastic buttery flavor.
Recipe Ingredient Notes
These holiday treats are made with simple ingredients!
Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips. These will be melted and combined with the sugar, rum and cookie crumbs to make the rum balls.
Granulated Sugar. Sweetens the rum balls.
Light Corn Syrup. Also a sweetener.
Rum. The flavor star of this rum ball recipe. Dark rum is typically used but any rum can be used. See more below.
Vanilla Wafers crumbs. These add substance to the delicious treat and flavor. You can buy vanilla wafter crumbs or make them yourself. Crumbs can be made by processing vanilla wafer cookies in a food processor or mini chopper. Regular or gluten-free wafers may be used.
Graham Cracker crumbs. As with the vanilla wafer crumbs you can use store bought cracker crumbs or homemade may be used. See notes in vanilla wafers crumbs above.
Diced Pecans. These coat the outside of the rum balls so smaller pieces of pecans works best for an even coating.
What is the Best Type of Rum to Use?
Any rum works though Dark Rum is most commonly used. The change up the flavor of your rum balls with different rum flavors.
Try other types of rum (even Malibu Coconut Rum) or alcohol like whisky or bourbon for bourbon balls!
Use 1/2 cup rum or whisky or bourbon.
How to Make Rum Balls
There are just a few easy steps to make this rum balls recipe. They are ready for your Christmas celebration before you know it!
STEP 1. Combine ingredients
Melt the chocolate chips stirring until smooth (follow the microwave instructions on the package or use a double boiler).
In a large bowl, combine the melted chocolate with the sugar and corn syrup; stir to combine. Stir in the rum and mix until fully incorporated.
Add the vanilla wafer crumbs and graham cracker crumbs to the wet ingredients; stir to fully combine.
STEP 2. Chill
Cover the mixture and chill in the refrigerator until firm (at least 1 hour).
STEP 3. Scoop & Roll
Scoop out 1-inch balls. TIP: Use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop to make this go faster. Roll balls between palms to smooth them.
Roll the balls in the diced pecans.
More Coating Options
The rum balls can be rolled in many different ingredients.
- powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
- cocoa powder
- diced shredded coconut
- Use different nuts instead of pecans
- Toasted nuts. You can even toast them in a dry skillet first before rolling (toasted pecans are delicious).
- chocolate sprinkles
Expert Tips for perfect Rum Balls
Use a scoop. Using a tablespoon cookie scoop is the quickest way to create balls and then roll them between your palms.
Coating trick. The secret to getting a full coating of pecans is to put them in the palms of your hands and roll them into the balls! Your hands will get chocolately but this method is worth the end result.
Confectioner’s sugar coating tip. To dust the finished balls with confectioner’s sugar using a confectioner’s sugar shaker. It allows a light dusting while filtering out any lumps.
Make your own crumbs. You can use your favorite brands of graham crackers and vanilla wafers (regular OR gluten-free). I use a mini chopper to make crumbs since it manages a smaller batch than a food processor does (though a food processor can also be used).
Just add the cookies into the chopper/processor and pulverize until fine crumbs are produced. I also use the mini chopper for all my recipe prep that calls for chopping or dicing!
Make them ahead! The flavor keeps developing after the balls are combined. They have even better flavor when made up to 1 week ahead of serving. This gives plenty of time for other baking at this time of the year.
How to Store
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. They can be made a week prior to serving to allow the flavors to blend.
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Because they have alcohol in them these rum balls are not recommended for children.
Yes! Place them in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. To thaw place them in the refrigerator overnight. They can also be eaten straight out of the freezer! They don’t freeze as hard as cookies.
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Pecan Rum Balls (a no bake recipe)
- 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
- 3 tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
- 1/2 cup Rum dark rum is typically used but any type of rum can be used
- 2 cups Vanilla Wafers crumbs regular or gluten-free
- 1/2 cup Graham Cracker crumbs regular or gluten-free
- 1 cup finely diced Pecans
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips using the Melt function or cooking at 50% power for 1 minutes, then in 20 second increments, stirring in between, until the chocolate has melted and is smooth.1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- Stir the sugar and corn syrup into the melted chocolate to combine. Stir in the rum and mix until it is fully incorporated.1/2 cup Granulated Sugar, 3 tablespoons Light Corn Syrup, 1/2 cup Rum
- Stir in the vanilla wafers crumbs and graham crackers. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until firm (at least 1 hour).2 cups Vanilla Wafers crumbs, 1/2 cup Graham Cracker crumbs
- Scoop out bite-size balls approximately 1-inch diameter (note: using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop for this is highly recommended) and roll between your palms to make them into smooth balls.
- Roll them in the diced pecans. Store in a sealed container. The flavor deepens after making so may be made a week before planning to eat them or giving them as gifts.1 cup finely diced Pecans
Originally published: November 26, 2017
I love the throwbacks recipes! The holidays are all about traditions, and these pecan rum balls will be perfect for making new memories.
Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place says
Pecan rum balls = wow! I love both ingredients. What more can say? I am making this tomorrow! 🙂
Joyce Brewer says
These look like they’d go well with coffee or a warm winter drink. Yummy!
You had me at no bake. These look so yummy!
Claudia Krusch says
These look so delicious and easy to make. I am sure they will be a big hit at my holiday party this year. I will have to make some as a trial run this weekend.
Claudia K says
Rum balls are my favorite. I can not wait to make some for my holiday entertaining.
travel blogger says
This looks like a great recipe! I love treat that don’t require cooking! I will have to give this a try, and I will try out the tablespoon cookie scoop. Great tip! I always need tips to make recipes easier since I am a terrible cook ha ha.
These sound wonderful!!!!!!!
I make my husband a treat every year for his birthday (right before Christmas) and these rum balls sound perfect. He does love rum and pecans, so this is a home run recipe to make him!
These look SO good! What a great holiday dessert! They’re so different than your typical holiday desserts too, that’s the best part! YUM! Can’t wait to try them.